June 15, 2024

West Ham boss David Moyes has opened up on his admiration for Newcastle United defender Sven Botman following Saturday’s 1-1 Premier League draw at St James’ Park, speaking to Football London.

There’s just something so aesthetically satisfying about a left-footed central defender.

And that tea-time clash between two of English football’s most historic institutions saw Botman and Nayef Aguerd – big-money summer signings from Ligue 1 and two of the best lefties in the game – go head-to-head.

Botman handled the unenviable task of marking Michail Antonio with trademark poise, while Aguerd demonstrated once more that Moyes has landed himself a Rolls Royce of a defender in the frame of a Range Rover.

In the second half, Aguerd produced one of the game’s standout moments, a perfectly-timed sliding tackle on Callum Wilson that went some way toward repaying West Ham’s £27 million investment.

And Moyes believes West Ham would be much higher than 12th if Morocco’s World Cup star hadn’t been limited to only four Premier League starts due to injury, comparing Aguerd to Newcastle’s increasingly talismanic number four.

“I think we’d be higher up the table,” Moyes says. “With Craig Dawson injured and Angelo Ogbonna not back from the cruciate ligament, we had no center-halves for the first four or five games of the season” (injury). We were working extremely hard at the start of the season.”

“I have to say that (Aguerd) reminds me a lot of Botman. Botman and Aguerd, in my opinion, were the best left-footed centre-backs in France.

Chelsea signed another talented southpaw who made his name on the other side of the Channel just a few months ago. However, Benoit Badiashile, a £35 million addition from Monaco, would have to settle for bronze in Moyes’ personal rankings, with Aguerd and Botman vying for gold.

“Obviously, there’s the boy who went to Chelsea, as well as a few others. But they (Botman and Aguerd) were in the same league,” the Scot adds.

“(Aguerd) has only appeared in four or five Premier League matches. It’s been a huge loss, and you can see how (his return) has affected us. If you look at our results since he joined the team, it has made a huge difference.”

Another big-money summer signing Lucas Paqueta also had a good night on Tyneside, canceling out Callum Wilson’s third-minute opener to earn West Ham a point.

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